Alexander Graff: My fellow time traveller Alex built this home for me on the internet, using equal measures of patience and genius in the process. -Thank you dear friend!
Roman Landes: I owe great thanks to my friend Roman for all the insights to the science of metallurgy and art of heat treating he has shared with me over the years.
The line drawings and free hand sketches you see on these pages are my own. In those cases where original period art is used to illustrate articles, it comes from Wikimedia Commons or are otherwise in the public domain. An important source for period illustrations of arms and armour is the site Manuscript Miniatures.
For photographic material I would like to express my sincere thanks to the following professionals:
Bernth Johansson & Lars Khöler have documented many of the swords I have made since 2009. Their dedication and imagination has helped spark some new projects that will be featured at this site over time.
Lutz Hoffmeister visited my smithy in 2002 and documented the process of making a sword from forging the billet to finishing and mounting. This was part of a project for the Deutsches Klingenmuseum: Schöne Schärfe, an exhibit about the craft of the sword. A few of his beautiful photos make up the slide show on the Smithy page.
Lutz has also photographed many of my swords over the years and some of these are shown in the Blades section.
Stewen Quigley made an article about me and my craft in the Biz&Art magazine in 2009. The first photo of the slide show on the welcome page is a result of Stewen´s keen eye.
The research that is essential for my work in the smithy is also the basis for the swords I design for production by Albion Armorers in Wisconsin, USA. Since more than a decade I have worked together with this small but influential and highly regarded company, developing more than 80 models in four product lines.
Please visit the sites of Albion Armorers or Albion Europe to learn more about these swords and the work involved in their development and manufacture. Over time there will be articles on the Notebook page about visits to Albion and development of new designs.
I am blessed to have made friends with colleagues whose work and attitude to the craft I find inspiring. Among bladesmiths today there is a growing awareness for the need to share ideas and knowledge. I am thankful to many of my colleagues who has given so freely of their hard won knowledge and brought inspiration through their dedication to the craft and the beauty of their work.
Bladesmith Forum: the home away from home for blade smiths from the old and new world.
My Armoury: a site with very good resources for the history or arms and armour, with an emphasis on the history of the European sword. Any one with questions about these matters will most likely find answers in the large collection of articles. If not, the friendly discussion forums are visited by people with deep knowledge in numerous areas and topics.
Vikverir: a Norwegian living history group that has put together a fantastic site with resources consisting of galleries of museum photos, articles and links to museum databases. Hours of valuable browsing!
The Company of Saynt George: a pan european living history group protraying a Burgundian mobile artillery regiment of the late 15th century. Their site is multilingual with very good resources.
The Guild of Saint Olaus: A Swedish reenactment group portraying burghers of Stockholm by the end of the 15th century.
Manuscript Miniatures: An online library of illuminated manuscripts. Need to find period depictions of arms & armour? Well, then. Here you go.
Patrik Djurfeldt: some very nice articles and data on Swedish mail finds and medieval mechanical artillery.
Björns svärdssida: I owe much thanks to Björn Hellquist who has always encouraged and supported me and generously hosted material about me when I started out as sword smith. For those who are not already familiar with his recourse page, it is well worth a visit.
HROARR: Resources for the historical European martial arts community.
Ars Gladii: Great austrian group for historical fencing.
AVISTA: The Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Medieval Technology, Science, and Art.
The Carving Path: A wonderful forum for the art of sculpting
John Howe: artist and time traveller who creates inspiring imagery with a unique feel for the believable in the fantastical.
The Geometry of Creation by Prof. Robert Bork is a must read for anyone who is interested to learn about the geometry of Gothic Architecture. I am grateful for his critique and advice during my wanderings along the circling paths of geometry.
Over the years I have visited many museums. Below you will find links to important collections that offer especially rewarding experiences.
Armémuseum in Stockholm exhibits military history and arms from the 16th century to modern times. A beautiful museum with a great collection.
Armeria Reale in Torino, Italy. Do not miss the monumental sword of Saint Maurice, complete with original scabbard.
British Museum in London. The archetypical museum? I am thankful to Silke Ackermann, Barry Ager, Jody Joy and Janet Lang for their assistance during my study visits.
Burrell Collection in Glasgow is a feast for those who enjoy a good day or two walking from one theme in history to the other. A great chocolate box of art and craft. The armoury gallery exhibit some very important pieces for the student of the sword.
Deutsches Klingenmuseum in Solingen, Germany. The best blade collection in Europe in terms of width and depth. There are sharp things from just about every aspect of human civilization through history and from cultures around the globe. You will find blades from the ancient battle fields, weapons of head hunters and fine cutlery for contemporary dining rooms. Even though I have visited many, many times over the years I have yet barely scratched the surface of what there is to see and learn in this museum. I am very grateful for all the times I have been allowed to study and document fine objects from this collection. I owe a big thank to the staff at the museum and especially to my friend Lutz Hoffmeister. Thank you for your generosity, patience and friendship over the years!
Fornsalen in Wisby, Gotland, Sweden. A treasure hoard of viking age and medieval archaeology. The fact that it is in the middle of the beautiful town of Wisby makes this museum a sword pilgrims delight.
Gustavianum in Uppsala exhibits collections of historical and archaeological importance. The archaeological collection of Uppsala University is in the care of this museum and some objects are on display. The collection is voluminous and includes incredible objects of rare quality. A few of the finds from Valsgärde are on display. These are treasures of mythical proportions. Finds from the River Fyris include many swords from the early iron age, viking and medieval period to the renaissance. Over the years I have been privileged to be given access to the collection for study many times. I thank Christina Risberg, John Worley and Geoffrey Metz for their generosity and support.
Historiska Museet in Stockholm exhibit history from the neolithic to late medieval period. I have been making study visits to the store rooms of this museum since the mid 80`s and owe thanks to many who works there. If you are visiting Sweden, this museum is a must see.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow displays a rich collection of art and craft from ancient times to modern. The collection of arms and armour is unmissable, even if not many swords are on display. The museum is beautiful in itself.
Mosegaard Museum in Aarhus, Denmark. A good exhibit of the Illerup Ådal find makes this museum a sacred place for the sword pilgrim. Also do not miss the fascinating and gruesome story of the bog people.
Musée d l´Armée in Paris has a very fine display of medieval weaponry. All are interesting to study and many are breathtaking.
Musée de Cluny in Paris is a wonderful museum of medieval art. Its collection of swords is small but of incredible quality. The Cluny museum is an oasis offering rare beauty and peace of mind to the visitor.
Museo delle Armi Luigi Marzoli in Brescia is housed in the castle on top of the high hill overlooking the city. I visited more than ten years ago, but the memory is still vivid.
Museum of Cultural History in Olso has a rich collection of viking period artifacts and weaponry. Not to be missed.
National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh hosts a vast collection of objects of a wide range of themes. There are some very interesting objects of study for the sword pilgrim.
Nationalmuseum in Copenhagen, Denmark. An absolutely unmissable museum for those who study the history of the sword. Many objects on display and even more in storage. Too much of great important to list in a place like this. Perhaps the theme for an article?
Vivianne Etting was my gracious host during the documentation of the Søborg sword d8801: thank you! I am also grateful to Xenia Pauli Jensen for her generous sharing of knowledge during inspiring discussions about iron age weapons and warfare.
Royal Armouries in Leeds. A day trip from London brings you to the great Ark of arms and armour trhough history and from around the world. I am grateful to Robert Woosnam-Savage for being my generous host during many study visits to the store room.
Skokloster Castle by the lake Mälaren has somehow survived in a secluded crevice of time, surviving intact from the 17th century. The size, contents and quality of its armouries is mind blowing. I am very grateful to Bengt Kylsberg for being such a gracious and generous host during my many study visits.
Victoria & Albert museum in London. The museum has a very fine collection of European medieval and renaissance arms and armour. A good part of these used to be on display in the armoury when I started my pilgrimages in the 80´s, but now only a few items are out of storage mixed in among other objects. These are still well worth a visit and the museum itself is a temple to beauty and skillful craft.
I´d like to thank Angus Patterson for giving so generously of his time during my study visits.
Västergötlands Länsmuseum in Skara. The site is in Swedish. This museum has a nice collection of artifacts that are of interest for blade smiths. The display of blade related objects is small, but show some beautiful bronze blades and a good little selection of medieval blades. The best artifacts and the volume of the collection is of course in storage. If you can arrange a special white glove study visit, there is much to learn from the fantastic artifacts.
Wallace Collection in London. Many swords of central importance are on display. The collections of European and Asian arms and armour are of an incredible quality. Do not plan a visit to London without setting aside at least the best part of a day for the Wallace Collection: one of Europe´s most important displays of arms and armour. I am very grateful to David Edge and Toby Capwell who has made many of the important pieces avaliable for study over the years.
Pergamena (parchment and leather)
Aldo Bruno, the New Jersey steel baron